Bloggin Insight of the Week – Importance of Building a List

Last week on my Weekly Uberpost Roundup, I shared a post called 7 Insights I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging, which was from Pushing Social.  Among other great posts that I came across that week, this particular post left me at a very profound state of thinking that I couldn’t get over.

The post shares 7 blogging insights that are very profound on it’s own, but what stuck with me was insight number 4: Traffic Means Nothing Unless…

Here is what it says about that…

In July of 2010 I received a surge of traffic when Brian Clark at Copyblogger mentioned Pushing Social.  I watched in astonishment as my twitter retweet count zoomed from 2 to 100 in 2 hours.  The next day, however, traffic returned  to pre-Copyblogger levels.

I realized that traffic doesn’t mean anything unless you can convert strangers into subscribers and repeat visitors.  From that point, my maxim is “Traffic Means Nothing Unless It Converts” Look at your blog, how are you enticing new visitors to join your list of subscribers?

I started my blog only about 5 months ago, and one of the advice that I constantly ran into was to start creating a list from day one.  This point was stressed so much that it was one of those common advice that most pro-bloggers gave as their number one advice.

They would say things like, “the money is in the list” or “Email list is the lifeblood of your blog” or “You’re leaving money on the table, if you’re not optimizing your blog to build list” and on and on and on.  I get it… Creating a list is important.

However, I don’t think I really got it until now.  At first, all of those reasons for creating a list seem to be rooted in making a profit, and it was all about making money from those lists.  And when I started my blog, money was not my main reason.  Not that I wouldn’t monetize my blog in any way, but money just was NOT my main objective.

Plus, I don’t think you can get very far if you’re solely in it for the money.  For me, money was just a frosting on the cake and my cake is delivering people out of slavery from time and money that is destroying our family, community and our civilization.  (you might think I’m crazy, but it’s the truth) 

On top of that, I absolutely love personal development – not the “cheap, fast and easy” fix that’s temporal, but real growth and transformation that is permanent.  That’s my passion.  Having a frosting on top the cake might enhance the taste, but the cake is still there.  (if you’re a baker, please don’t correct me on this)

What I’m now understanding as I’m heading into my 5th month of blogging is that the list is not just about the frosting (money), but it’s really about the cake.

The benefits you will gain by having a good list in place is immense.  I’m talking about better return visitors in number and more traffic to your blog in general and most importantly, staying connected and engaged with your reader, thus building your community and a platform.

So, let me outline this for you, so can scan through:

  • Better return visitors in number
  • More traffic to your blog in general
  • Staying connected and engaged with your reader
  • Building community/relationship
  • Building a wider platform.
  • Better conversion on products (if you have one)

Also, when I look at some of the bloggers that I model and follow, I’ve noticed that they all have similar design with one purpose in mind.  Build list!

Let’s take a look at few of them.

1)  Traffic Generation Café by Ana Hoffman

2) Christian Personal Finance by Bob

3) Social Trigger by Derek Halpern

4) Michael Hyatt

This is no newsflash to you.  You’ve probably have seen it all over the blogsphere.  In one form or the other, most bloggers are doing it, but their intensity and focus is obviously different.  For someone like Michael Hyatt and most bloggers, it’s not so obvious, but for bloggers like Ana at and Bob at, it’s so much their focus that their blog’s home page looks like a squeeze page or a landing page.

Obviously, these bloggers are seeing something in building a list that I haven’t yet to experience.

What I know about these blogs is that they are very successful.  I am one of their many subscribed readers and I’m in the community that these bloggers provide.  They all have very devout readers and audience, along with great community and platform.  If I were to check off all of those benefits that I shared earlier, I would check off all of them one by one.

  • Better return visitors in number… check
  • More traffic to your blog in general… check
  • Staying connected and engaged with your reader… check
  • Building community/relationship… check
  • Building a wider platform… check
  • Better conversion on products (if you have one)… check

I’m know there are so much factors that comes into play when it comes to building a successful blog.  But I don’t think I’m stretching the importance of building a list at all.  In fact, I don’t think you can stress this enough.

Hear what Derek Hepburn has to say about the importance of listing building.

If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot.

So the question for you and I is this.  Are you turning your traffic into subscriber?  In other words, is your blog converting to an email list?

And unfortunate for me, my honest answer is No.

I currently use Optin skin plugin at the end of each post to subscribe for a free ebook, but it’s been a miserable failure.  And the reason for that failure I believe is due to my mindset.  I didn’t put any emphasis on building a list because I didn’t think it was that important.  So the form is there, but not really because I’m not vetting it with specific purpose.

Here is few action items that will change that.

  1. Design and Start Building a Freebie – I’ve started writing two ebooks already.  First one is on Christian Time Management and second is on Christian Personal Finance for someone in their 30s.  I have few others in the work, but I mainly write them to split them up into a blog post series or I might end up just using it as an ebook.
  2. Create more Forms – I currently use Aweber (affiliate link) as my autoresponder, but not fully utilizing it.  I plan to create more form for the sidebar and at the footer.
  3. Install Opt-in Forms on my Blog that looks like a squeeze page – I’m still not sure how I can set this up without hiring a designer.  I’m going to look into Genesis Studiopress (affiliate link) and see if there is widget or a plugin for this.  Hopefully they do.
  4. Create the First Three Autoresponders – I still haven’t gotten started on this yet.  I subscribed to few of my favorite bloggers list to study how they have their autoresponders setup.  The goal is to have different autoresponders for different ebooks I promote.

My Question to you

Are you focusing on your email list as your MAIN priority?

If yes, share with me how your email list has helped you getting your message out there.

If not, what is your reason behind it?


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